"Savannah finally gave local artists a stage." -- Lloyd Harold, aka KidSyc
It’s funny. In a town absolutely mad about festivals, there’s never really been a festival devoted to local musicians.
Our premiere music events — Savannah Music Festival, Savannah Stopover, Savannah Jazz Festival, Savannah Folk Music Festival — are all fine and very enjoyable occasions which we’re happy to support. But despite occasional nods to local bands, all of them chiefly rely on talent shipped in from out of town.
There’s certainly no lack of talented players in this town — we make our livings here in part by writing about them — but for whatever reason there hasn’t been a showcase just for them.
All that changed on Saturday with the inaugural Square Fest in Forsyth Park, which garnered a turnout that surpassed everyone’s wildest expectations.
From 3 p.m. until about 10 p.m. or so, the park was packed with a very diverse crowd to see an equally diverse bunch of bands, from the funk/jazz attitudes of The Royal Noise to the neo–hippie space rock stylings of Word of Mouth to the aforementioned local hip–hop monsters KidSyc@Brandywine.
(All photos with this story are by the awesome Ann Sosbe. And all our tweets from the event were by our new social media intern Sinjin Hilaski.)
A cynic might say there hasn’t been an all-local music festival because there wasn’t that much to showcase. An optimist would counter that you have to foster talent by showing that it’s welcome in the first place.
It’s an old debate in some local quarters. But that chicken/egg argument about the Savannah music scene appears to be moot, certainly for foreseeable future.
Music doesn’t lie and neither do numbers. About 2,000 people showed up to Forsyth Park this past Saturday.
Did it help that there wasn’t much else going on around town? Sure. So what?
Did the weather cooperate? Abso–freaking–lutely.
Did it help that it was free? Of course. But Savannah’s already blessed with a ton of free festivals.
You could say that Square Fest enjoyed a bit of luck on its opening go–round. You can say what you want about the local music scene, but never again can anybody make the case that there isn’t sufficient support for an all–local music festival.
It was frankly inspiring to see.
But festival season’s just beginning, and this week we preview the upcoming Midnight Garden Ride and Fashion’s Night Out, two events Connect is thrilled to sponsor.
We also give you a special insert all about the Savannah Craft Brew Festival.
See you out in the streets!
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